KEYSER - Mineral County has thus far received $660,942.09 in relief money through the American CARES Act, a federal relief fund designed to provide assistance to American workers, small businesses, industry and state, local and tribal governments that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Mineral County has thus far received $660,942.09 in relief money through the American CARES Act, a federal relief fund designed to provide assistance to American workers, small businesses, industry and state, local and tribal governments that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mineral County Office of Emergency Management director Luke McKenzie, who has been applying for the funds on behalf of the county, explained that the funding is a reimbursement-type program where the county must apply for relief for expenses incurred during the ongoing  pandemic.
“These expenditures were for the salaries of 911, emergency management, and the sheriff’s department,” he said. “We also received reimbursements for COVID-19 related overtime and this was for additional patrols by deputies, traffic control at testing sites, etc.
“On top of that, this money also reimbursed the county for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) , hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies that were purchased by the county.
“The final item that this money was used for,” he continued, “ was to reimburse the ambulance authority for a limited incentive program that was offered to encourage volunteers to staff ambulances at a time when the risk is so great.”
The CARES Act money went into effect in March, and McKenzie has applied for funding since then.
A breakdown of the funds Mineral County received is as follows:
March/April: $250,422.30
May: $141,617.26
June: $146,261.45
July: $122,641.08
McKenzie explained that the funding program is directed toward payroll for law enforcement, 911 and emergency management “since so much of our jobs have become COVID-related.
He continues to apply each month as the pandemic continues.